Split, Croatia: Gorgeous Views & Life on the Water
YOU’RE UP THEre WITH PRAGUE + MEDELLIN…
BUT FOR A VERY DIFFERENT REASON.
You see, when we were in Prague, I was in love with the city. The public transit made it feel like this place was at my fingertips. I loved the architecture, the sites and the surprisingly gorgeous country. In Medellin, I was captivated by the beauty that is the country of Colombia, the resilience of it’s people…oh and the cost of living and food weren’t bad either!
But, Split? I loved Split for some different reasons. Split may be slower paced. The food may be expensive. We may have been far removed from Old Town. But, the countryside in Croatia? The beach lifestyle? And yes…the slower pace? These were all reasons why I could live in Split.
I’ve never been someone who goes out a lot during the week. If I’m out and about active, it’s usually on the weekends. During the week, I’m all about my routines, working out, cooking at home. And Split afforded me just that, but with simple and calm ocean views, amazing national parks, etc.
Check out some of the highlights…
PLITVICE LAKES NATIONAL PARK
One thing that Croatia definitely had going for it is that National parks. Plitvice perhaps being highest on that list. You see, when I first started my Travel Bucket list Pinterest board, there was this magical waterfall land that was one of the first places I pinned. That place was Plitvice National park. And damn am I as in love with it after being there as I was seeing the pictures online. The park is gorgeous! And I’m actually super happy that we were there during October with its wonderful Fall colors amidst the beautiful greens, teals, and turquoises of the water made it even better. It was an amazing day at an amazing park! And that’s not even all of the National Parks in Croatia! Krka is amazing too!
EXPLORING OLD TOWN & DIOCLETIAN’S PALACE.
Old Town is one of the things that Split is known for, but us? We actually were living a bit outside of Old Town, which, I’m being honest I really liked! It’s what I liked about our living situation in Prague too. All the super touristy stuff? It wasn’t right outside my door, giving me the peace and quiet that I really crave in my environment. But, that didn’t stop me from enjoying it one fine Sunday. I was supposed to go Island Hopping, which sadly never happened during any of my scheduled events because of bad weather. But bad weather in the morning cleared up later in the day. I went on a wonderful, long walk. I walked the 45 minutes and enjoyed walking around the grounds of Diocletian’s palace. This palace was built by a former Roman emperor to, essentially, give him a nice place to retire to! Now, it’s a wonderful ruin in the center of Old Town that makes for some beautiful photographs whether you go on a beautiful sunny day or in the dark of night!
VRANJACA CAVES & RAFTING IN THE MOUNTAINS
Who knew all the natural wonders that Croatia had to offer? Admittedly, I didn’t expect to find this much, if at all, in Europe! But these two events definitely demonstrated to me the physical beauty to offer in this gorgeous country. And the best part was their sheer proximity to the city…
First was a stop in Vranjaca caves. The most well-known cave near Split is most definitely the Blue Cave, which visitors flood to in the summer months. But, given that we weren’t in Split in the summer and both of my island hopping tours got canceled for weather, this was the only cave I got this month! But that’s fine by me! These caves which are millions of years old and reminded me of a smaller, though still stunning, Carlsbad Caverns. The caves were maybe 30-45 minutes outside of the city. This sweet old man worked the ticket office and after sorting us all out, he took us deep into the caves, telling us all about them, pointing out some of his favorite shapes, telling us about how he accidentally discovered new parts of the cave and ultimately playing us some music on the stalagtites. It was an amazing day and another natural wonder of this beautiful country.
Our other fun event was a day rafting! We drove about 30-45 minutes outside of Split to a river where we were suited up in wetsuits, helmets, etc. We had beautiful weather and spent the afternoon paddling down the river and going through some pretty decent sized rapids. Our group probably won the worst paddlers of the day award, getting stuck on like every rock imaginable and I left the day with a huge bruise down my back, but it was all worth it to get out in nature, enjoy the sunshine and eat an amazing meal! Oh…and drink way too much vino!